The owners behind the “wine cave” that drew criticism from many Democrat presidential candidates after South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg decided to hold a fundraiser in one are now speaking out in his defense.
Craig and Kathryn Hall, owners of Hall Rutherford Winery in Napa Valley, told the Associated Press (AP) that the candidates did not accurately portray the “wine cave” while criticizing Buttigieg for hosting top-dollar fundraisers.
“It seems someone’s intentionally trying to create a different image than the reality,” Craig Hall told the news outlet. “And that’s unfortunate.”
The “wine cave” went viral after Thursday night’s Democrat debate at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles when Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) criticized Buttigieg for hosting a lavish fundraiser that she said featured crystal chandeliers and $900 bottles of wine.
“We made the decision many years ago that rich people in smoke-filled rooms would not pick the next president of the United States,” Warren said. “Billionaires in wine caves should not pick the president of the United States.”
Hall took issue with the way the event was characterized, telling the AP that his winery does not even sell $900 bottles of wine.
The couple added that the most expensive wine available at the winery goes for $350 and was not served at the event. Hall noted that he did not know if there were any billionaires who attended Buttigieg’s fundraiser at the “wine cave,” noting that wine caves are common in Napa Valley.
“I don’t think anyone came with the expectation that they were going to become Pete’s good buddy for some personal purpose,” he told the news outlet.